Monday, October 15, 2012

What to do with a bag of apples?

Hey, friends!

This beautiful fall weather is bringing the last of the garden and orchard goodies our way. A coworker of mine gave me a huge bag of organic golden delicious apples a little while ago, and I had no idea what to do with all of them! I realized that I am the exact opposite of creative when it comes to eating apples. I have always eaten them like they're going out of style, but I needed to use them up a little faster than that! After searching lots of different sites and blogs for apple ideas, I found one that I wanted to try: oven-dried apple chips. I don't have a dehydrator in my newly married state, and I don't really have the money to go out and by one, so I was excited to see an oven-friendly version of the recipe. Here's how I made my own batch.

Oven Apple Chips

You will need:
Apples (any kind--some kinds tend to brown more than others, so be aware of this)
Parchment Paper

Wash apples. Set your oven for a very low setting. (I used 225 for my first batch and about 200 for my next batch. They seem to do a little better at a lower temperature, but both temps worked.) Lay a single sheet of parchment paper on each cookie sheet. Cut out apples using a knife and cutting board or mandoline.

It took a little practice, but it wasn't very difficult at all to cut the slices as thin as I wanted them. With this project, the thinner the better. There's no need to be too perfectionistic, though. This is not a very picky project. I left the core intact, just making sure that all of the seed bits didn't make it into the oven. I like the way the core leaves a pretty star in the center of each slice. On the other hand, it would work just as well to core the apples before slicing or as you go. Whatever works for you!

As soon as you have one or two apples sliced up, pop them onto the parchment paper and in the oven they go!

This picture is of my very first batch. I ended up using only the top rack for the rest of the batches. It turned out that the bottom pan was too close to the heat source. They turned brown and tasted burnt, so I did my best to learn from my mistakes. I cooked these pans for a little over two hours to get them to the point of crispiness I was hoping for.

They actually turned out really well! It's a fairly low-maintenance project, but you would definitely have to have some time at home to make a multi-batch version of this recipe feasible. The good news is, it only takes a couple of apples to do one pan of chips, so you can do as few or as many pans as you'd like!

If I do another batch, I think I'll try moving the bottom pan closer to the top one and see if that helps keep the crisps from overcooking.

Thanks for reading, guys!

Happy cooking!

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